In 2010, several states elected Republican majority leaders and many of these states, including Texas, are now enacting tough anti-abortion laws. In Texas, there's a law that says doctors that perform abortions have admitting privileges in nearby hospitals and that has essentially closed down about 1/3 of reproductive life clinics that offer abortions, says Brad Bannon, democratic political consultant in Washington, D.C.
The plaintiff, a pro-choice group, in a case that was up before the Supreme Court, asked to issue an injunction so the law would not go into effect. The Supreme Court refused to issue the injunction against Texas, so now Texas law on admitting privileges, which makes it very hard to get abortions, is now in effect.
The trend is showing up in other states where Republicans have taken over, such as Oklahoma. Oklahoma bans the use of chemically-induced abortions, such as the morning after pill. In a Supreme Court case, the Supreme Court removed some restrictions on abortions, so there's a mixed bag amongst the states, says Bannon.
In Massachusetts, there's a law that prohibits pro-life protestors from being within 35 feet of abortion clinics. A plaintiff has asked the Supreme Court to throw out the law on the basis that it violates the first amendment right to free speech. Bannon says the Supreme Court will rule on this next year.
Brad Bannon is President of Bannon Communications Research, a Washington, D.C.-based political polling and consulting firm. More information can be found at www.bannoncr.com. This video commentary was hosted by The Legal Broadcast Network, which provides on-demand legal content.